Mexicans Improving the Field of TechnologyBy Fernanda Duque Hernández
Three new devices developed by Mexicans.
The Academic Ranking of World Universities has classified the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) as one of the best 500 learning institutions in the world. In fact, in 2013 3,228 articles from researchers in this institution were published in international scientific journals.
Adding to this honor is the achievements of students from UNAM's Engineering School who won second place in the First Competition of Beach and Sea Robots on the Greek island of Samos. They made it thanks to Pakal, a four wheeled robot programmed to detect and collect garbage located next to the ocean. This same invention also won first place at the Latin American Robotic Challenge in Arequípa, Peru.
So far this is Pakal's sole function, but the UNAM students plan to improve its performance to make it a multitasking robot capable of helping remove dangerous waste at radioactive disaster sites.
But the UNAM is not the only university in Mexico that is improving the field of robotics. The University of Guadalajara is working to create a robot with the capacity to identify human emotions and, in so doing, improve the everyday life of humans or even take care of the elderly.
In charge of this investigation team are doctors Daniel Zaldívar Navarro and Erik Valdemar Cuevas. Both of them graduates of the Freie Universität Berlin, the two have already created two robots that can function without remote control.
The next step is to ensure that Marisol and El Rostro (the team's robots) have the capacity to make visual contact, follow people with their eyes and move their hands as humans do. The team expects that, in the future, the robots could identify expressions and respond to them appropriately.
On the other side of the world, another Mexican is using technology to improve the field of marketing. Enrique León Villeda, a member of the Talent Network in Spain, has developed software that can read peoples' emotional responses to different products in real time.
This algorithm is in charge of measuring the heartbeat and sending it via Bluetooth to a cellphone or a computer where the software can determine the emotion. Using this invention, companies now can produce better commercial spots and know what kind of images people associate with the product.
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